Chess and brain boosting music

Chess and brain boosting music

Apr 12, 2018, 3:38 AM |

Does music boost chess?

In theory, yes. Has to be the right type of music though. It's no secret that certain types of music are known to bring out the best in your brain's abilities. It's pretty much the conventional wisdom that classical musical generally and the 'Mozart effect' in particular are performance enhancers. I'm no expert on the underlying (neuro)science, but I understand that having the right kind of sounds in the background will engage a part of your brain that will then make it less likely for your thoughts to stray; this will then allow you to better concentrate.   


What doesn't work?

For me, any lyrical music is a no-no. I struggle as it is to concentrate - but, chess is one of the few domains where I'm able to sustain my focus for hours on end. What I've found, however, is if I'm playing the kind of music that might give me more energy when I'm working out - say:

...I'm then triggered to ponder the lyrical wizardry on display; sparking a diverging multitude of thoughts and ideas. Before I know it, I've squandered precious mental processing power; leading me to chess play far below my optimum capability.


Does one size fit all?

Obviously not. We're all human, but we each have a unique meaty, computer of mind-boggling complexity inside our thick skulls. Broadly speaking we have 'normal' folks who conform to what is understood to be typical brain function. Then there are 'atypical' folks whose brains function a little differently to the status quo; in this category, you can find well-worn labels such as Autism (ASD), ADHD and Dyslexia. Different brains have different needs in terms of what may bring the best out of them. In short, what works and what doesn't work for me, may not necessarily apply to you.


Chess, like most endeavours in life, requires that you try different approaches in order to find out what works best for you. Presently, I find the following piano renditions I found, work wonders!